The Kaiju

Kaiju is the Japanese word for ‘strange creature’ or, as we would more commonly say in English, ‘monster’.

Godzilla is probably the thing we might first think of when we think of ‘kaiju’. He the king of monsters and is the manifestation of the sheer destruction and terror brought on by the atomic bombs that hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It represents the mindless big scale destruction that humans are capable of unleashing on one another.

Above is the original ‘man in the suit’ Godzilla. It’s easy to laugh at especially these days at the costuming here, but try to bare in mind that this was made in Japan less than 20s years after the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.Godzilla-1954-III_2898601b

Above is the original ‘man in the suit’ Godzilla. It’s easy to laugh at especially these days at the costuming here, but try to bare in mind that this was made in Japan less than 20s years after the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Scenes from the film involve cramped hospitals, irradiated children and burning buildings. Burning buildings may well be par for the course when it comes to a kaiju/monster/disaster movie but there’s something about knowing the background to this particular rendition that makes it a little uncomfortable.

It may seem strange to talk about the kaiju here but it actually holds a lot of relevance to my cited project. The idea behind my project is to create these creatures/characters that might represent the problems of the real world. They may look cartoonish or even cute depending on my final designs but they are quite serious in nature. I think the challenge can be to make sure that behind the appearance people can see the issues being addressed because it’s easy to watch something like the Godzilla films (especially the latest ones from the West) and view it as mindless entertainment because the real values and ideas being upheld by the original has been lost somewhere in the mix.

I want my creatures to look approachable and not too gruesome on the outside but for the implications to be a bit unsettling and like the 1954 Godzilla film, for people to understand their impact on the world around them.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s